Exoplanet Pendants for Boskone
(cross-posted on Dreamwidth as laurieopal)

I've finally photographed two of the exoplanet pendants I'm bringing to Boskone.

Finding the right stones for these is difficult but recently found several that really worked well in the designs.

exoplanet pendant -planet-peruvian opal- satellite -madiera citrine

Planet is Peruvian opal and the satellite is a Madeira citrine. Setting is sterling silver.

exoplanet pendant - planet florite -satilite is a diamond

Planet is a very unusual fluorite and a diamond star crosses it's satellite. (Diamond is larger in actual pendant then shows in photo.)

Both designs are about 1.5"

I'm finishing the final piece of jewelry for Boskone tonight. Then on to packing displays etc etc etc. (The is a lot of etc.)

Fogcon Membeship For Sale
Unfortunately, I booked a vacation so long ago didn't consider Fogcon. So regretfully I have a Fogcon membership to sell for $70. (Currently price online is $85) Let me know if you're interested. I'll definitely be there next year.

Making Lots of Work
(cross-posted on Dreamwidth as laurieopal)

I've been working so hard on finishing new designs that I didn't realize how long it's been since I posted last.

Boskone is about 10 days away and I'm polishing, setting stones and choosing different chains for designs.

I just finished making some silver pendants black and then I'll hand polish them tomorrow so they glow a bit.

Have a new lava (from my trip to Iceland) and diamond pendant. I made one with lava and pearls but a friend saw it and wanted it before I'd even had a chance to set the pearls. I will photograph it.
(Still have to set the pearls.)

The setting was Icelandic wooly willow. I saw it everywhere in Iceland but couldn't find out the English name. I finally bought a book of Icelandic plants and located it. I'll also put up a photo of the plant when I put up the photo of the pendant.

And I have a new pendant that's a delicate setting for Icelandic spar. And lots of new rings.

This is the last thing I am doing before quiting for the night so good night.

Watermelon Tourmaline
(cross-posted on Dreamwidth as laurieopal)

I've think I've finished the exoplanet designs for Boskone. The last one is a moonstone with a star (diamond) in front of it's satellite. Also a large group of new rings including peruvian opal, gem quality chrysophrase, and a particularly lovely chrysocolla.

"The Stars Change" pendant for Mary Anne Mohenraj is polished and complete. I'll try to photograph it but given the details I'm not too hopeful.

This is a large stunning watermelon tourmaline that I set in gold with 3 small diamonds for Wendy Czarnecki. This is one of the very most beautiful large watermelon tourmalines I've ever had. I wanted the design to subtly reflect the stone. Actual size is about 1.25". Chain is antique.

watermelon tourmaline diamond 14kt necklace

And George, my new cat is learning with some success to coexist with jewelry making.

New Work, New Year
(crossposted on dreamwidth as laurieopal)

I'm back from a combination of very relaxing holidays and a lot of intense creative work. I finished a whole group of waxes that I'd been working on for a long time, including the feathered dinosaur that sits on a gorgeous piece of fossilized dinosaur bone. It's body repeats the pattern in the stone in a subtle way. Very different creature then the one I originally visualized. Feathers for display not flight worked best for the stone and the total design.

And also included a garnet bodied spider and a fly perched on opposite ends of a web like bi-colored rutilated quartz.

And for the new Boskone collection I finished a large extremely vivid large red ammonite pendant design. I've been working on a group of new work for Boskone.

Photo below is from the collection of Wendy Czarnecki. This is one of the sea shaped Baltic amber stones that I was fortunate to get when I was in Finland. The setting is 14 kt and the chain is antique. It was designed with her chain in mind. Size is approximately 1.75"

I wanted the gold to reflect the exquisite depth of the stone.  The photo only suggests it.

sea shaped amber and gold pendant

Best to everyone in the new year.

Opal Earrings
(cross-posted on dreamwidth as laurieopal)

These opal cinnamon diamond and purple sapphires and amethyst earrings were made for Barb Moermond.  The small stone color choices and design location were really complex decisions.

I'll be carving waxes a lot over the holidays (although _ not_ on the holidays).

Best wishes to everyone for the season.

Exoplanet Designs - Astronomicals
(crossposted on dreamwidth laurieopal)

I've been carving exoplanet pendants in wax. Two have circling moons. One with a star in front of it. And one with an asteroid cloud that has a couple of shining stars. I think it will just be these three and it will be a while before they are finished.  I found a Peruvian opal that blue and brown and just perfect for this group.

I've been doing the final work on the grey druze crystal cave with the flying dragon coming out of a moonstone egg. I've been working with various tones in liver of sulfur to get exactly the right patina on the setting for the grey druze crystal cave itself.

And I have a new cat named George. It's really good to have a cat in the house again.

black and white cat sleeping on his back

Leaf Design Opal and Diamond Pendant
I worked on this for a long time and I'm really happy with it. It's from the collection of Rebecca Burgess. The opals and diamonds are hers and designing a balance for the various shapes and sizes of opals required a lot of thought. The texturing of the branches and the leaves was art deco influenced. Setting is gold and the pendant is 3" wide.

opal and diamond leaf design pendant

I was just polishing what will be a calcopyrite and 14kt pendant and an silver emerald, blue diamond, and cinnamon diamond ring. I've almost finished "The Stars Change" pendant. The reptile tail and the tiny cat face in the "warrens" are done.

Also finished a Tigereye pendant that I should have a photo of soon.

Next time I'll put up a photo of my new cat George. He's making me very happy

The Stars Change: Pendant Of The City
I've been working on  a silver pendant from her book "The Stars Change" for Mary Anne Mohanraj.  I've written about it before.  Tonight I finished the Mughal palace.  (I've been looking at photos of Mughal palaces for quite a while.) The other buildings are mostly carved, although all of them need final work.  The tower of art will have to be last because it's 3 dimensional nature makes it very fragile for a work in progress.  I also blocked out today the warrens beneath the city.  The pendant is less than 2" high and obviously it's stylized.Thought folks might be interested in the quote I'm referencing.

"There were a few other cities on this world, but none nearly so large, so glittering..... The medical complex, bright and white and vast.  .  The mathematical eyrie clung to the side of a mountain, not far below the astronomer's peak.  The psychologists had built themselves a maze to navigate; mastering it was a graduation requirement.  The tower of art centered the campus, a frothy creation of violet spun steel.  And the historians lived within a vast Mughal palace, a testament to the glories of their ancestors."

I have a new camera that should handle fine detail well, so perhaps I'll  be able to get an OK photo of it.

And I have a new cat named George.  Photos of him will definitely follow.

Half the Sky: My Photo In Chinese Exhibition
(Crossposted on Dreamwidth as laurieopal)

I meant to put this up sooner here but I've continued to work obsessively in wax and I have a second photo for my new photography project (I'll be writing about that later this year or early next year.)

I'm excited that my portrait of Okinawan peace activist Fumiko Nakamura  will be in Half the Sky: Intersections in Social Practice Art in Shenyang, China.

She was a filmmaker and peace activist, who retired after 40 years as a school teacher to found the non-profit Ichi Feet foundation to document the horrors of the battle of Okinawa and the subsequent suffering.

I photographed her (for my Women of Japan project) in her Ichi Feet office in Okinawa when she was 92.  She engaged in the collaboration on her photograph with great charm and energy. She died much honored, earlier this year.

Fumiko Nakamura, a 91-year-old former public school teacher, can't shake the profound remorse she feels for the loss of her students during one of the bloodiest battles of World War II.

Before Okinawa, a subtropical island in the Pacific, was turned into a killing field 60 years ago, Ms. Nakamura used to exhort her students to fight for the emperor and for the state. Her students were among more than 200,000 people, including 12,520 Americans, who perished during the Battle of Okinawa, which started in March 1945.
She is deeply ashamed of her involvement in the war. "I will carry this sin as long as I live," she says.
But her shame hasn't kept her silent. Ever since the war, this diminutive woman has fought for peace, protesting US military presence here, and becoming a pacifist icon.

As Japan expands its military roles abroad, her voice has grown louder.
"I see certain parallels between present situations in Japan and in the prewar period," she warns.
Nakamura grew up under a totalitarian ideology in the 1930s. "We were indoctrinated ... with patriotic songs, slogans, and army propaganda," she recalls.
As an elementary-school teacher, Nakamura played a part in that indoctrination. "In class [she] used to ask all of us if we could die for the state," recalls Fumiko Toyama, a student of Nakamura in 1937. "Whenever our 'yes' was not loud enough, she'd snap, 'Speak up!' "

Nakamura says she once lived without freedom of speech, so now she values that freedom.
"I continue to speak out as long as my mouth works," she declares. Since 1986, Nakamura has been a director of the Okinawa Historical Film Society, a group in Naha, the island's capital. In the 1980s, the organization bought unedited footage of the Battle of Okinawa from the National Archives in Washington...

The group presented the resulting video tapes around the world.

Today, Nakamura devotes much of her energy to protesting the presence of the US military in Okinawa. -
Christian Science Monitor

I've had Women of Japan photos in China before in Beijing and Shanghai but this is a very special feminist exhibition.

..The International Caucus of the Women's Caucus for Art has been invited by the Wei Er Shen, President of LuXun Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, China to create an art-based cultural exchange and exhibition between artists and essayists juried through WCA and women artists curated in China by Yin Ou. This will  be held at the LuXun Academy April 15-30, 2014.

The academy is interested in providing an opportunity for Chinese women artists to interact with artists from our organization, to learn more about feminist art history in the west and share their art with our artists. LuXun is one of the premier art academies in China and is located in Shenyang - the major metropolitan area of northeast China.

Social practice art  encompasses a wide range of art forms - public art, interactive media, performance, dialogue, activism, community practice, community building, interventions, and collaborations that cross art, public and social arenas. This project's cultural exchange is in itself a social practice form of art.  In the exhibition, artwork from our juried process and the curated Chinese artists will create a powerful environment in which the delegation and Chinese women artists and students will interact in a  variety of events - creation of collaborative art, dialogues, demonstrations, sharing of the catalog essays and  techniques and more.

As there is more information about the exhibition and what works are part of it, I'll be writing more.

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